PREVIEW: WEEKEND FRENCH CUP ACTION
The Coupe de France resumes action with all Ligue 1 clubs getting their first taste of the tournament highlighted by Carlos Bocanegra's Saint-Etienne who take on Clermont.
Saint Etienne - Clermont
Carlos Bocanegra and Saint Etienne welcome in Ligue 2 Clermont in Round of 64 action of the Coupe de France on Saturday at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in Saint Etienne.
Bocanegra can expect to receive another starting nod in defense from head coach Christophe Galtier whose club regained their winning ways prior to the holiday break.
Les Verts closed out 2010 on a high picking up seven points in their final three matches after suffering through a seven match winless streak in all competitions.
That string of positve results has pushed the club back into the top six of the Ligue 1 standings.
It has been 34 years since Saint Etienne last claimed the Coupe de France so they will be aiming to start this year's campaign on a good foot against their Ligue 2 counterparts.
Clermont won the right to face Bocanegra and company with resounding victories in the previous two rounds over lower division opponents - a 5-0 thrashing of Thiers and a 0-3 hammering of Royan.
Bocanegra and the Saint Etienne defense will need to be mindful of Clermont' dynamic young attacking midfielder Romain Alessandrini. The talented 21 year old has tallied three goals in his last four games and has six on the season.
Moustapha Bayal is suspended for Saint Etienne and will not feature while Yoann Andreu and Boubacar Snogo continue to be plagued with injuries.
Cedric Lubasa, Guillaume Moullec, Mehdi Namli and Steven Pinto-Borges are all unavailable for Clermont due to injury.
Charlie Davies will hope to make the gameday roster for Sochaux who travel to Jarville.
Quentin Westberg will likely watch from the bench as Evian welcome in 10-time winners Olympique Marseille.